Gilis-Bali Fast Boats canceled with Bangsal transfer trial

The attempt to change the tourist crossing route from Gilis and Lombok to Bali is causing headaches for speed boat operators, hotels and tourists.

Visitors wishing to return to Bali from the Gilis, next to Lombok, must first travel to the port of Bangsal using the Karya Bahari (KKB) cooperative public boat at a cost of Rp 20,000.

They can then take a speed boat or other local sea transport to Bali from Bangsal Port. Prior to this policy, tourists could travel directly to Bali from the Gilis by speedboats.

boats at the port of Bangsal, Lombok

This lawsuit now prohibits fast boats from taking guests from Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. However, tourists will still be dropped off directly on the islands after departing from Bali.

The policy began on Monday, October 17, 2022, and since then North Lombok Regent Djohan Sjamsu has not commented on the continuation of the rules. Meanwhile, the Deputy Regent of North Lombok, Danny Karter Febrianto, said that for the time being the trial will continue with ongoing assessments.

“In the near future, we will hold a meeting related to this issue with the provincial government and other related parties. The process is a trial, so of course there is a time limit,” he said.

Regarding the results of the assessment to date, Febrianto admitted that there are still shortcomings related to public boat services and that there have been reports of chaos.

“We will look at all the positive and negative impacts and then we will make a decision and hopefully we can fix it in the future,” he said.

Reports suggest that the number of fast boat passengers has decreased to 30 to 40 percent, according to the general manager of Golden Queen Fast Boat, Wayan Sudana. Although we are currently in low season, the decline in passengers is inseparable from this policy.

That’s why we don’t agree with this policy and the public should also reject it because basically I call this policy ridiculous,” he said.

With the drop in the number of passengers, the Gilis are configured to not be as crowded as before the policy was implemented. Now there are a lot of protests on social media from tourists who are uncomfortable with politics.

“It’s very unfortunate. It’s not easy to create an image for people to vacation with us and make good comments,” he explained.

Also, in the implementation plan, speedboats are not involved by the North Lombok Regional Government.

“It is us who are aggrieved but we are not invited to negotiate,” Sudana told Radar Lombok by telephone on Sunday, October 23.

According to Sudana, PT Bali General Manager Eka Jaya Ketut Sugita said, “We, Eka Jaya, have experienced many cancellations from tourists wishing to visit because tourists feel uncomfortable and think their trip was complicated.

If the policy continues, he predicts passengers will continue to drop. “It will continue to drop as several major tours and travel agents who support us with the Bali and Gili Lombok packages will change the program for their guests,” he explained.

Hotel entrepreneurs are also affected. Gili Hotel Association (GHA) President Lalu Kusnawan also confirmed that there was a drop in hotel occupancy.

Deputy Speaker of the North Lombok Regional People’s Representative Assembly, Burhan M Nur, said local governments must be careful in making decisions so as not to cause harm. From October to November and December, tourist visits are expected to increase.

“We are afraid that this will make tourists uncomfortable and force them to move to other places. Now West Lombok and Central Lombok are completely cleaned up. Likewise, East Nusa Tenggara currently has many investors there- down,” he concluded.

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